May 07, 2020

Manchin: Next Coronavirus Relief Package Must Include Funding For Senior Nutrition Services

Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) encouraged Senate colleagues to include funding for senior nutrition programs – like home-based nutrition delivery services – in the next COVID-19 relief legislation. During a weekly Democratic meeting to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on older Americans, Senator Manchin questioned Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels, about the need for increased investments in home-based delivery vehicles and senior nutrition services.

Ms. Hollander expressed support for Senator Manchin’s HOME Meals Act (S. 1674) and joined Senator Manchin in calling on Congress to invest more resources for these critical programs.

“Yesterday I joined my colleagues in an important discussion about ways we can better serve our senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the best of times, programs like Meals on Wheels provide nutritious meals and important companionship to our elderly, shut in and fragile neighbors. As we all do our best to practice social distancing and avoid large crowds, programs like this are even more important. I was pleased Ellie echoed my request that Congress prioritize these programs as we look towards our fourth COVID-19 relief package,” Senator Manchin said.

Earlier this Congress, Senator Manchin introduced the HOME Meals Act which:

  • Establishes a 5-year competitive grant program for states to purchase, customize, or repair vehicles that provide meals to older Americans.
  • Authorizes $60 million a year over five years for a total of $300 million.
  • Requires preference for grants be given to states with:
    • High percentages of individuals who are 60 years of age or older;
    • High rate of individuals at or below poverty line; and
    • Have operating meal delivery programs at the time of application.

As Governor, Senator Manchin ensured that every county in West Virginia had a hot and cold food truck that was used to deliver meals to seniors that are fragile and shut-in. In 2017 alone, 1.3 million meals were delivered to seniors in West Virginia. Of those meals, 57% of the West Virginians lived alone and 61% of them were over 75 years old.

A timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.